I recently wrote about wardrobe essentials, the gist was that everyone’s needs and preferences differ.
So here’s my list. Much of it is common to the lists we have all seen. While what works for each of us is as individual as we all are, there are also commonalities (just as we all have as much in common as we are individuals). Contradictory? That’s humanity!
I think I was just sidetracked by thoughts of U.S. culture and character, and the human condition.
Anyway, here’s MY top 10 list:
- Classic Trench. I could not agree with this list staple more. As Tim Gunn says, “You can wear it to the grocery store or the opera.” I feel so strongly about this that I have a beige one AND a black one. If you’re wardrobe building, I think a light tan is probably the most versatile.
- Black and Nude Pumps. Between the two, you have a heel to wear with anything. And remember never to settle for uncomfortable shoes, regardless how beautiful they are. There are swoon worthy shoes that also feel good on your feet. If you don’t believe me, check out Corso Como.
- Equestrian boots. Yes they are very popular at the moment. That happens every few years. They’re classics and never out of style. I agree with Wendy‘s recommendation, here, that the best option for this staple is a very simple clean boot without a heel or embellishments like buckles and straps.
- Flip Flops. My old favorites were a muted silver pair from J. Crew and the sole is almost completely worn through. The new favs are a Roxy black and white chevron pair from Ross for 9 dollars. I live in flips in hot weather. I know, some of you wouldn’t be caught dead in them. That’s why we all have to make our own lists!
- T-shirts. I like to have three specific kinds, as they work in layers differently and give me more options. V-necks- American Eagle’s are good. Crew necks- can’t go wrong with the ones from Gap. And Boat necks- J. Crew’s are great, and the elbow length sleeve gives them a grown up feel and makes it easy to dress them up. All of them go on sale semi-regularly so no need to break the bank.
- Tank Tops. I am the queen of the cami. And since I’m cheap, most of mine are from H&M. I have a dozen colors and layer them almost daily.
- Denim. There’s so much to say about the ubiquitous jean. It’s great to have a solid dark wash since they can often work as trousers. And I believe we should all have a comfy relaxed weekend pair too. More on shopping for denim here.
- Skirt or Slacks. This is a personal one. Are you a skirt person? Never? Either way is okay. I have both. I have a skimming but swingy tropical print skirt that has accompanied me to many and island, and the dependable pencil skirt serves all other purposes. For slacks I have a great pair of Kenneth Cole’s that have been a stand by for about 8 years now. I bought them long enough to wear with tall heels and they never let me down.
- Cardigan. They say “cotton is rotten” when it comes to running gear, and I have adopted this for sweaters as well. Maybe it’s just me, but my cotton sweaters stretch out of shape after one wearing, fade more quickly, and tend to show wear earlier than some other materials. I’m a big fan of wool: merino, cashmere, whatever. Wool/silk blends have worked well for me in the past, maybe with a little nylon or spandex thrown in. They’re perfect for layering, toning down a saucy top, or adding a pop of color to a work dress.
- LBD. There are innumerable Little Black Dress options out there, and the price ranges vary wildly. I have a few. One is more conservative and would be appropriate for a business setting or funeral (gotta be real, we’ll all attend these at one point or another and I think it’s only respectful to look presentable). Another is, well, saucy. Enough said.